Layoffs at Bianchi due to market contraction
Bianchi is preparing to lay off about 25 employees at the Treviglio site. The Italian manufacturer, which was planning to hire new staff, now considers it necessary to respond to the "market contraction" after the good figures obtained during the pandemic. Workers protested at a decision that affects 11% of the workforce.
Bianchi assumes laying off 11% of the workforce, who are set to fight to keep their jobs
The pandemic pushed bike sales to record highs. These were boom times, with brands enjoying a sector that was trading higher than ever before. The market, however, failed to sustain the volume of sales and the positive news gave way to reports of a worsening situation.
Bianchi now plans to cut around 25 jobs at its Treviglio site in Bergamo. The redundancies affect 11 % of the workforce, which totals 220 employees. The historic Italian firm justifies its decision by the "important challenges" facing the cycling industry following recent market resentment.
The information advanced by L'Eco di Bergamo was officially confirmed when Bianchi explained the situation to Cycling Weekly. The brand stated that it informed union representatives on October 19 of an "approximate reduction of 25 workers" in the workforce.
"Behind this initiative is the need to rationalise human resources in order to contain operating costs and improve corporate efficiency, in the context of a phase of substantial challenges that are affecting the entire bicycle sector," says Bianchi.
The manufacturer goes on to explain that "the market downturn, which has characterised the post-pandemic period, has had a significant impact on the global bicycle industry".
"Today, Bianchi's corporate strategy is firmly focused on guaranteeing the continuity of operations at the Treviglio facility, creating the conditions to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the market in the coming months and years".
The announcement comes just a month and a half after the launch of Specialissima and in the same year that the headquarters have been remodelled to expand to 30,000 square metres. Bianchi invested 40 million euros in this renovation, which also aimed to increase the workforce to more than 250 employees.
Last Wednesday, workers stopped production for an hour and a half in protest against the company's decision. Simone Grisa, from the union, says that "we are asking for the dismissals to be blocked" and for Bianchi to confirm these workers on temporary contracts.
Bianchi's tough situation adds to the complex moment that is shaking the cycling sector, after Wiggle Chain Reaction went into receivership just a few days ago and Shimano reported a significant fall. The cycling industry is uncertain about the difficult times being experienced by some companies in the sector. Given the difficult forecast, it remains to be seen whether the market will continue or buck this trend.